I'M BACK.....: In my last Post I was telling everybody... - NRAS

NRAS
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I'M BACK.....

In my last Post I was telling everybody me about my upcoming first cruise and my poor auld body after just coming out of a really bad 10 day flare. Well I'm back and I survived both!

First the cruise. Well it was not what I was expecting at all. I thought I was going to Butlins on water......was I ever wrong. We, my brother and traveling companion, were on a brand new ship, 15 decks high and first class treatment from day one. It was more expensive than I would normally pay for a holiday (I was a back packer for years) but I have to say it was worth every halfpenny.

We booked a balcony and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of cruising. At the end of the evening we sat with a nice bottle of red and watched the lights of distant cities and islands float past. We got lost in the moonlight on the Med and were dazzled by falling stars.

During the day there every kind of entertainment you can imagine. The thing I like most was that you could do as little or as much as suited you. My brother and I are of an age were we are quite happing to leave the more physical activities to the more fit people on board. Having said that on the last day I did go down the water slide, yes I did and lived to tell the tale, only just mind you! I think I should remind all of you that I was pumped full of steroids and continued to take them while away and pain free so I was as manic as hell.....

I liked the idea that the most strenuous decision I had to make most days was wether I would have another G&T or a Mojito while laying ina cabana on the Serenity Deck. The food was excellent and as a vegetarian I was very well catered for. I was in top form as like so many have said before I had neither ache nor pain for nearly a month due to the dry heat. . In fact it is only today that I can feel my body pain returning since about Sept 5th, it was wonderful. My only setback was after we did two tours two days in a row and on the third day I had to take to the bed for the day, my body felt 10 times it's own weight there was nothing I could do but lay down. I'm glad I did as I was right as rain the next day.

We visit our beloved Rome, we just keep coming back. We went to a quaint farm outside Sorrento and sampled home motzzorella cheese. Our only rain drenched day was spent in Pompeii but it didn't deminish our amazement at the site. We also viewed the Acropolis in Athens, from ground level. I bitterly regret not climbing to the top when I had the chance when I was physically fit to do so. We loved Athens too and intend to go back as there is so much to see. We walked the Rumbles in gorgeous Barcalona whwere I accidentally payed €19 for a bottle of hair conditioner........and then forgot to pack it when we were leaving the ship! €19......I'll never get over it.....

Now back home nearly two weeks and it is all like a dream, as if it never really happened. The dayy after I got back I had two runs to the chemist and an emergency appointment to the Health Centre with my 92 year old Daddy......holiday over.

Anyhow, I saw my Rheumy nurse Bronagh on Monday there past and we have begun the process of getting gold injections for me and what a process it is too. Bronagh wrote the prescription (the pharcamy in the hospital don't stock it as it is so old and rearly used anymore), I took the script to my Dr and now I have to wait to see if my GP will administer the drug on a weekly basis, some do and some won't. If not the hospital pharmacy will have to order the drug from wherever it is stored and I will have to go to the hospital every week to get the injections in the Rheumy Ward.

I had an awful time just before our cruise. I was physically and mentally a wreck. I look after my eledery and increasingly disabled parents of 88 and 92. I'm the only one here in Ireland and so it is left to me. Some days it can be hell on earth and there are the odd days when they are both well and we can have a bit of a laugh but they are the exception believe me. Anyhow I had a great rest and now it's back to reality. My full body pain is returning daily and I'm beginning to have very limited movement again. Try lifting a wheelchair out of a car boot when your shoulders, upper arms, wrists and fingers are causing a lot of pain......I have to say though that on many occasions some kind soul will always offer to help, there are good people around still and I be very grateful for them I can tell you.

This is like a book isn't it? So I'll end by saying that my hope for the coming months is the the 'gold' works for me and not in the 6 months Bronagh warned me it could take....we'll see what happens. Take care everyone. J XX

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Glad you had a good cruise. I hope that the injections start soon.

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Me too if it can take up to 6 months before I see any results. It is all that is available to me unfortunately. X

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Hi Jean yes the gold injections are a bit ancient but they worked very well for me until the side affects set in so hope they work for you with no reactions glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise it is a great way to holiday a new country most days the best xx

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Hello beeckey. How long did it take before they started to work for you? Would you mind telling me about the side effects. I have had a look at Dr Google but they aren't very clear about side effects and I forgot to ask my Rheumy nurse. I don't have a great history with regards to side effects. I've been on quite a few bios and had side effects with most of them. It's good to know that you got some relief from the gold however.....we have to take our snatch at normal life when we can don't we? All the best. X

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Sounds wonderful ... but Ireland is a beautiful country to live in too!

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It certinally is very beautiful but I needed the dry heat to take my pain away. It is the first holiday I've had in 6 years and really, really needed it. All the best. J

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Sounds like you had an amazing time and saw some fantastic sights?! I've just returned from a cruise too, I've cruised before and I was concerned about how I'd manage it as it can be pretty full on with so much to do and see, it was my first one since being diagnosed but I was fine, although i did get very tired and my feet realky swelled with all the extra activity!! Which ship were you on? Sorry to read that you're back to dry land with a bump but hope you feel better soon! 🙂

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We were on one of the Celebrity ships, the new one called Vista. 15 decks high, a floating city. People from all over the world. All colours, shapes and sizes. I loved every minute but like you the fitague was there most of the time. I always felt like I couldn't stand for any length of time, that I always had to make sure there was somewhere to sit close by. In Pompeii I had to just sit and pick the tour up on the way back as I just could not walk another step. Even now I'm home I find I'm still doing the same thing. I told my Rheumy nurse and she said it was fatigue and that unfortunately there was really nothing they could to help.

No matter, I'm looking at cruises for 2018......XX

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Sounds lovely and you had a fab itinary! I don't blame you...will give you something to look forward too! We would really like to do an Alaskan cruise...I'm told you will hopefully see Whales everywhere!! We were on whale watch crossing the Bay of Biscay but didn't see any but others did...we did see dolphins though 😊

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Going whale watching tomorrow in Hermanous bay.

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Wow...let us know how you get on? I take it you're on holiday in South Africa..but far for a day trip. Have a great time!! 😊

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Yes we are in SA for two weeks. Five days in Cape Town then four in a place called Sun City. Then five in Kruger national park. Touring round with friends .

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Sounds like a fantastic holiday Dtech...I'm very envious of all the wildlife you're going to see!! Please get a pic of a whale to post on here!! 👍🙂

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Ok. Will do.

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You are so, so lucky.....have a great day.

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Hump back whales, orcas, brown bears, bald headed Eagles, sea otters, sea lions and the most incredible scenery. Would love to go back to Alaska but I'm running out of time (70 in February) and still lots of places to see. Cruising is an ideal way to see them.

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I'm starting to save right now!!! 😊 Sounds wonderful. x

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Love the celebrity ships.

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I have to say the treatment was of the highest quality. The crew were so attentive to your every need. The food was magnificent, even the 'trough' (the buffet) as the yanks called I thought was great as there was so much I could eat as a vegetarian. Home made ice cream everyday too, real ice cream not that soft stuff that comes out of a packet! Unfortunately the Vista has no plans to come back to Europe for the foreseeable future, so we were told anyhow. I would recommend the ship and the crew however wherever they sail.

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Glad you had a great time. We are seasoned cruisers so know how fantastic they are. I am writing this from my hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, where we are holidaying. Just been on a bus tour on our third day. The 12 hour flight caused a severe shoulder flare but dosed myself with pain killers and it seems to have settled down. Another day here then on to a resort for a few days before a four day tour of Kruger national park with our South African friends. Stay well Jean.

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Awh, heaven on earth.....all that wildlife, the animals, the scenery. I envy you so much. Is it not dry heat there? Does it not help with the pain? Have a great time and keep well too. J XX

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It's actually a bit wet and cold here! Lol. Which doesn't help,the ra.V&A waterfront is fantastic. But are expecting a lot hotter in the north. But still having a great time. Went to a penguin sanctuary yesterday.

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My heart just did a flip. I'm such an animal lover, I just love them all. Have a great time. XX

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Awh, my heart just did a flip. I'm such an animal lover, I just adore them all. Have a great time. X

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Sounds fantastic i had family who used to live there Port Elizabeth have a great time x

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Anyone visiting Port Elizabeth really must see the Addo Elephant Park!

It's an amazing experience!

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My brother did that cruise and he did see the whales. I was looking at Dubi.....I'm I off my head? I couldn't cruise every year but it was so nice to have something special to look forward to, to save towards. It's been so long since I've had something like that. Looking after two elderly parents can take its toal and it did on me. My body was breaking down there was so much responsibility on me and no one else to help me. Anyhow, my pain is coming back but the rest did me the world of good and I will be able to cope better now for a while. My brother is coming over from the states in early January and that takes a lot of the strain off me for a few weeks. Did you still feel like you were rocking back and forth for a few days after you came home? I loved it......

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Yes, you've a lot to deal with and deserve a nice break, it also helps like you say to cope better with things? I fancy Dubai too...so many places to see!!! We used to cruise a lot but have had a break from it for about 8 years since we got our dogs but we both really needed a proper break so my daughter offered to dog sit as one of my dogs would have s nervous breakdown if she was put in kennels...she's such a diva!!! I'm glad you asked me that because yes I did haha...we got back on the Mon 19th and I think I was still rocking on the Friday, I always get trouble with my sinuses too, I think I get accustomed to the aircon then have to readjust when back on dry land!! Like you im not sure I could do it every year now but they keep tempting me with emails of special offers...my daughter will still be living at home for the next couple of years so need to take advantage of her dog sitting offer!! Do you normally always go with Celebrity? We go with Royal Carribean I have to say it had changed a lot since we last went but the service and food are still excellent.

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I'm lucky in that the girl who grooms my two looks after them for me. They love her and she is the same about them so I don't have to worry about them as they have the run of her house just like they do in their own house. She takes them to work with her and they have all these dogs to play with all day too. It's just them and me in the house so they have a grand time on their holidays too. Mind you they nearly knocked me over when I went to collect them.

This was my first cruise. It was my brother who said we should to the new Vista and he wanted to see around Europe so it suited both of us.

I was looking at Royal Caribbean online earlier on.....just dreaming......

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It sounds like you've got the cruising bug now...it's like marmite you either love or hate it. I'm not good with crowds but like you say if you have a balcony cabin, you can escape for a bit and enjoy the sea and scenery in relative quiet until you're ready to face it again! They've got a good deal at the mo...you get the second person half price and with a drinks package too on certain itinaries. X

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I saw that too, a real bargain.

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Go for it Jeanabelle!

I first went to Dubai in the 1960's & I took myself back a couple of years ago!

I was not disappointed! It has changed out of my wildest dreams, but leaving the glitzy places apart there is a lot to see & the local people are so pleased to see people who appreciate their culture & don't make exhibitions of themselves like a lot of tourists do.

AC

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It certainly has changed since the 60's and not all for the better. Having said that I would really like to go myself and have a look. I like the idea of meeting the locals too, you get a better feel for a place then. I'm not an independent traveler anymore due to the RD so I will have to go with what I can still do. I think that RC are in Dubi for two days so that sound like something near what I would like.......I have a 'thing' about how some tourist behave too when in someone else's country......ah well, what can you do, we all have them. Take care.

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Do search out the historical museum. It's not very big, but has wonderful photos of the old gold soukh (now it's all in shops & not many bargains) & of the Dhows on The Creek.

I'm off to Bahrein in November RA permitting.....flying out alone but staying with friends who live there. Politics apart I love that part of the world.

Hope your RC cruise works out.

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I will have a look thanks. The more I think of it the more I want to go now. It is so different from anything I'm used to, a bit of a challenge if you like. All I have to do now is persuade my brother. He is a bit of a wonderer too so we'll see what happens but it sounds wonderful.......dreaming on for now. Take care and enjoy yourself and hopefully the RD will give you peace to enjoy it all. Take care. X

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AAAH Jean i would loved to have been there, your discription is wonderful☀️☀️. Im so glad you had such a lovely holiday as your really needed it. Wishing you all the best with the gold injections hope all goes well, be sure to keep us updated 🌸🌸🌸🌸

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I will, thanks. X

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We did Royal Caribbean on our last cruise and didn't enjoy it as much as celebrity cruises.

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Yes...I've heard good things about Celebrity. We tend to go with RC for their loyalty scheme as you get a few extras which are worth having, but things have changed a lot since we last sailed with them, so may look at another company next time.

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Yes things have changed, talking to people who had cruised with them before.

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The yanks know how to put on a good show don't they. Of course I don't have anything to compare it with. I do understand about the loyalty bonuses though, they can be very impressive can't they. My brother did Celebrity to the Bahamas and said it was beautiful but that once you've se n one island you've seen them all! That sort of put me off to be honest. So it's Europe or east of Europe I think. God listen to my, I sound like your man who used to be on the telly Alan Whitticer, was that his name? I th No I got my travel bug from watching him. X

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Ah yes....Alan Whittaker...I used to watch him when I was a child...he made it sound all very glamorous!! I did worry about coping with being on a large ship with RA..but it was fine and there were a lot on there far worse than me...this horrid condition should not let us stop living our lives and travelling!!

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I agree 100%. Just st keep giving me the drugs and I'll do the rest!

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I've only been on the one cruise but I would say that i couldn't see anyone doing better.

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Having a mojito while on the Serenity deck, ah sounds blissful, and what fab places you saw. Glad you had such a good time. I've only had one steroid shot so far (early days in my RA journey) but felt so much better and able to do a lot more. Pity they wear off, felt 2O years younger :-)

Hope you get the gold injections soon and they help you. so you can get planning your next holli. xx

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Thanks Mrs. The steroids injections can be great can't they. I'm on them daily now and so long as the dose is kept below 5.5 I'm grand.....any higher and I have to be tethered to the ground. Thanks for the good wishes and I send the same back to you. XX

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glad u had a super time, good luck with the gold too. are you north or south - there's a small company based in dub is it riviera does river cruises . might be handy 4u. xx

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I live in Derry in the north. I didn't know about them. There are all sort of company's in Fermanagh that do the canals on rented yatchs, very, very popular with Europeans. So popular that you have to book up to a year in advance. I'll look up that company, thanks.

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the co. is Riviera but smaller informal boats, abt 150 people, set meals and flights from Dub as far as i remember. but no shows, musicals etc so u may prefer the bigger ships. good health x

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I found it last night. Yes smaller and more intimate but still lovely. Organised entertainment is not really my forte TBH, we only went to one show the whole time onboard. Going to pass it on to the brother and see what he thinks. We are both 'sociable' people and like meeting someone new. Thanks for the link. They do lovely tours too, thanks again.

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Sorry to say no whales😏. There were no boats going out as sea too rough so had to look from the cliffs. And no whales reported all day. 🙄

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Oh no Dtech....will you get another chance to go? 😗

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No. We fly out to sun city tomorrow . Four days there. Then Kruger park

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What a shame for you...but I expect you will get to see some amazing wildlife in Kruger Park...pictures would be appreciated?!! 😉 Have a great time and I hope your shoulder is better.

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NO matter Kruger will be fascinating. Hope your keeping well.

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I've just put a penguin photo post 😃

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